Palimpsest, contemporary text font

Updated description: this is a contemporary serif family I'm working on since January 2010. It was initially just for personal use, but the project grow up to embrace complete Latin, Cyrillic and Greek scripts, besides phonetic alphabets, arrows and dingbats.

It's a text font and the family is planned to have several weights in roman and italic versions. I believe it will be released in early 2013.


1. it must be suitable for books and magazines, with more contrast than contemporary typefaces like Meta Serif, Greta Text or Stuart.

2. it must be clean and legible, with high x-height, generous counterspaces and reduced ornamental elements.

3. it must produce a strong horizontal impression, with well defined lines like the ones achieved with Guardian Text, Utopia or Charter, for example.

4. it must be adequate to academic, legal and technical texts with harmony between usual text, numeric data and acronyms.

Many glyphs have alternate designs, as |a|b|f|g|q|y|W|Ж|К|. Target sizes are 9 to 32pt. Small caps are taller than usual. Petite caps are also included. Numbers, currency symbols and related signs are available in 10 variations. Palimpsest is a codename.

Comments are very welcome.

2010.01: lowercase a-f, h-j, l-u.
2010.02: lowercase complete, marks and basic diacrits.
2010.03: uppercase complete, punctation, European languages.
2010.04: small caps, numbers, non European languages.
2010.05: figurine variations, bullets, dingbats, fine-tuning.
2010.06: many symbols and additional language support added.
2010.07: numbers and currencies in ten styles.
2010.08: general revision, mathematical operators, symbols.
2010.09: combining diacritics and precomposed glyphs.
2010.10: spacing, African languages, dingbats, fractions.
2010.11: support for many non-European languages and IPA.
2010.12: complete revision, UPM set to 2048.
2011.01: dozens of glyphs added to increase language support.
2011.02: first Cyrillic and Greek drafts.
2011.03: linguistic additions. Glyph naming revision.

Initial lowercase design was made in Illustrator CS4.
Further development was done completely in FL Studio 5.
Final work will need FL Studio 6 due to the large number of glyphs.

Version085.pdf309.55 KB
Especials.pdf22.25 KB
Version0968.pdf271.59 KB
Andreas Stötzner's picture

It appeared to me lately that he is working on Cyrillic parts.

Igor Freiberger's picture

Sorry for the lack of updates but I had very limited time to invest in type projects since early 2012. This scenario will remain the same during about one year from now –so real news are expected just to 2014.

Anyway, the development continued, although slowly, and the regular style is mostly ready (yellow groups are the incomplete parts):

In table columns, UC, LC, SC and PC means uppercase, lowecase, small caps and petite caps. Italic style is also underway:

I know just a specimen would give a good view of the font, but for now I do not have an updated one. So these captures may give an idea (sorry for the large width):

Besides this, I also started a sans serif font to work as companion for this project. They share the same glyph set and main proportions. Its basic Latin alphabet is ready. A sample:

jafo's picture

I like the sans; its proportions are clear and open, easy to read, nicely humanist. I'm undecided about the curve at the top of the tall letters, though: they seem too... playful? They match the n-letters, but they're functional there (opening up the notch). The bottom of the stem of b should be opened to match the n. Maybe the bottom of the e might want to go out a bit, so that it isn't so clearly just a cutaway from the o. But again, it's nice, clean work.

Karl Stange's picture

Igor, having seen your comment in the Build forum I came over here to review your progress and I am very glad to see that this is still in development, if temporarily on hold. This is great work and if you had not already reached the conclusion, well worth pursuing a commercial release for when you are ready.

Igor Freiberger's picture

Thank you, Karl. It is very good to hear that. For sure, this font family will be completed and released, although not soon.

Jafo, thank you very much for the critique. I mostly agree with you. The top curve seems a bit fancy and there are several adjusts to be made in curves. When I come back to design it, I will consider these points.

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